CONCORD, N.C. -- Kurt Busch was arguably the most dominant driver of this year's All-Star Race, winning the first and fourth segments, which earned him the right to enter pit road first based on his average finish from the first four segments.
But a sub-par pit stop dropped him to fifth from first on the final restart and that's where he would ultimately finish.
Busch was noticeably agitated upon getting out of his car and shouted that he was frustrated as f---. But he quickly gathered himself in front of the media and pointed out that his frustration weren't personal -- but merely the byproduct of finishing fifth after leading so many laps.
At the end of the night, Jimmie Johnson and team were perfect, and they were able to maximize a front row restart to earn their fourth career All-Star victory and that's something Busch desires for his own team.
"We won a couple of segments, but you have to be perfect to win (this race), and Jimmie and Chad (Knaus) always shine in moments like this," Busch said. "That's why they are five-time champions.
"For our part, we were in the mix and won the overall average finish. That gets you the first spot entering pit road but not the first spot on the restart. I'm not down on my (pit crew) but we came out fifth and were a little tight in traffic and just didn't get it right on our changes."
Despite the disappointing result, Busch is satisfied with his overall performance and believes his pace and speed will translate to next weekend's Coca-Cola 600. That race will also be held at Charlotte Motor Speedway leading him to believe that they gained valuable data to put towards that event.
"We're stoked with the finish, but we want more," Busch said. "It was the All-Star Race, and we wanted a good showing. But at the end of the day, there's no points and second on back doesn't matter. But we learned a lot and this will translate to the 600. We're going to have to pace ourselves for 400 laps (next Sunday) and not 90."
Busch says he didn't expect to be in traffic before the final pit stop and that his set-up was designed for clean air. He called the decision to adjust the car "splitting hairs" and that changes to the car may not have worked even if they had come out first.
"The cool thing is that we won a couple of segments in the All-Star Race with a team that doesn't always get all the credit it deserves sometimes," Busch said. "And that's something for us to hang our hats on."